The Importance Of A Disaster Recovery Plan In Business Environments

A disaster recovery plan is a detailed plan that is designed to outline how a business will recover from an unexpected event that causes costly losses. By developing an effective plan, businesses can restore the business’s ability to operate by recovering from the initial loss and resuming normal operations. While a business owner hopes that a disaster or catastrophic loss never happens to them, everyone should have a plan in force in case it does. US Department of Labor studies show that virtually 40 percent of all businesses who experience a disaster never re-open. Do not become a part of this statistic and understand the importance of a disaster recovery plan in business environments.

Crises and disasters that can affect your business operations can include theft, fire, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, power failure, Internet failure, hazardous material leaks and spills, security breaches, terrorist attacks, and computer hacker attacks. While the severity of each of these risks will vary, each exposure can close your business doors for good if you do not have an effective and comprehensive recovery and resumption plan in force. While not all of these risks can affect your business, you must plan for each risk you are vulnerable to.

While developing a recovery plan make take a lot of time and effort, once you have developed a successful plan you will ensure the continuity of leadership throughout the organization by relocating or repairing the damage that has been done in a reasonable time frame. You should outline realistic time frames on when facilities, records, assets, records and computer systems should be restored so that you know you are on track for business resumption. While some of the common disasters that occur today are preventable, it is important to develop a plan for every uncertainty.

The three primary goals of all disaster recovery plans that should include reducing the potential for injuries and physical damage to properties and records; stabilizing the effects of the disaster by beginning recovery efforts; and implementing the right procedures depending on the type of disaster that has occurred. While business insurance will pay for damages and loss to the corporation, re-opening your business and resuming operations requires planning. Assign individuals and committees responsible for implementing and following the recovery plan. Also, it is important to be sure that your business is not permanently closed because you failed to plan ahead of time for unexpected losses.

Reporting Software For Today’s Business Environment

One of the latest tools that has become available for today’s business managers is what is commonly referred to a reporting software. So, what exactly is reporting software and what does it do? Also, while it may be applicable to other businesses is it in fact applicable to yours?

Many Variations of Reporting Software

The fact, is that reporting software is available in several variations and is used for any of a number of purposes. In short, what it does is take raw data and convert it into an easy to comprehend format. At the same time it simplifies or refines this same data to make it far more easy to use.

Growth Brings Increased Potential for Losses

Unfortunately, as a business grows the financing of its operations can tend to spiderweb out in several directions. It’s just something that has become to be expected and accepted. Thus the margin for losses also tends to expand as well with growth.

Detecting Theft and Fraud

Reporting software allows a business to keep a tighter grip on their expenditures during these periods of growth, thus minimizing these expected losses. For instance, losses through theft or fraud can be far more easily and quickly detected with today’s modern reporting software.

Piles of Data Instantly Converted into Visual Format

One of the main reasons that reporting software makes managing a businesses expenses so much easier is that it instantly converts raw numbers and data into easy to understand charts and graphs. This is turn makes side by side comparisons a snap. Of course this in turn can make relevant correlations so much easier to see.

Quicker and Easier Information Management

No need for an accountant to crunch numbers and explain irregularities when they can be plainly seen on a simple bar chart. Also, subtle trends become not so subtle when they are laid out in plain sight on a line graph. In today’s business environment information is power and reporting software makes processing and managing information much quicker and easier.

Does Business Environment Affect Outsourcing?

Sure it does! As the outsourcing industry grows in leaps and bounds, several hard truths about what makes a location sell come to the forefront. Experts watching the pace of this growth agree that the key to maintaining and enhancing long term competitiveness lies in skills development, infrastructure investment, and regulatory environment – not in attempts to control wages. As services move up the value chain, a dramatic shift in cost advantages is seen. Both leading offshore service locations, India and China which up till now have attributed their success to people and skills availability at competitive costs, are gradually waking up to the sleeping tabby in their corridors – business environment. Several ongoing surveys to gauge consistent improvements regarding this important parameter indicate similar results. Ease of doing business indicates how favorable the business environment is for operating businesses. For offshore firms which rely on syndicated data to provide them with pointers for choosing lucrative outsourcing locations, a poor review can spell disaster.

The Doing Business 2008 report that used a variety of indicators each carrying the same weight age attempts to understand how favorable the business environment is for the operation of business at a certain location. First place goes to Singapore, which ranked the highest in this study when it came to employing workers, trading across borders, protecting investors, paying taxes, and even closing a business. Both New Zealand and the U.S., ranking second and third respectively, scored low where facilitating business easily was concerned. Reflecting similar findings, the Global Service Location Index 2007, compiled by A.T. Kearney, states that developed countries like the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Germany, France and Singapore offer the best business environments to work in. Countries like India, China and Brazil appear much lower down on both these surveys. This indicates that despite a large talent pool and wage-cost advantages, unless these countries are successful in evolving their business environments, their overall popularity will continue to flounder. However, this is easier said than done. In developing nations that still grapple with basic infrastructure, and social and cultural challenges, it is a prerequisite of the government to nourish their economies with the fruits of increasing productivity experienced over the last decade or so.

It is seen that, despite inflated wage costs, those top ranked in the business environment index continue to be the preferred choice for the extreme high end services, although they do not offer cost advantages. Among these are, of course, the U.S. and Canada, both of which have large populations to fall back on which makes them high up on the people and skills index. However, for most entrepreneurs and individuals who operate with relatively lower budgets, there is a tendency to prefer outsourcing to locations where the wage-cost advantage is more prominent. This trend has worked in the favor of Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa in the past. But the emerging reality in outsourcing trends clearly reveals a shift towards those locations that can offer a combination of all three: financial attractiveness, talent pool, and favorable business environment. India and China lead in the first two parameters, and stand to gain if they are able to offer the last.

This is because strengthening businesses environments spells stability for an outsourcing firm and is one of the most desirable characteristics that a probable business location can offer.

With services moving up the value chain, there is greater demand for strategic services that inevitably push up costs. If locations leading in cost advantages and talent pool are able to upgrade working conditions with greater investments in high technology, infrastructure and policy reforms, their services could be leveraged to push up profit margins.

Increasingly, services like HR functions and management of suppliers is being outsourced by major firms in the developed world. This wave is an outcome of the fact that many businesses today spill over beyond geographical boundaries, making relationship management in the value chain an important parameter for the success of the business. VA firms that are capable of handling this strategic service stand to gain much if they are able to offer greater ease in doing business.